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Caterpillar Marine boosts performance by 16% with a blended learning solution

Caterpillar Marine (or Cat Marine) is one of the leading providers of engines, generators and compulsion systems within the marine industry. They operate globally and have around 400 sales staff within the business and external dealerships.  

The Challenge

Cat Marine needed a culture shift – one that took the sales team away from a technically focused selling model and moved them to a more consultative approach. The shift needed to upskill the team selling the new end-to-end services and teach salespeople to understand each customer's unique situation and recommend solutions based on the benefits.   

The new solution needed to provide the 400 sales team with a standardized set of training that was accessible offline. With only 15% of that 400 workforce employed by Cat Marine, the training needed to be engaging and informative enough for external dealerships to undergo training by choice. 

The Solution

Cat Marine screenshots

Kineo worked with Cat Marine to create a seamlessly blended solution that was accessible to all salespeople. The first step was to overhaul the current learning content. All new digital learning is bite-sized and has been built using the Adapt framework; content is now segmented based on the needs of the customer rather than grouping by-products. The content is delivered, tracked and measured using Kineo's cloud-based Totara platform and includes additional plugins to support the needs of the diverse team.

To encourage informal and social learning, Kineo added content curation plugin Anders Pink to the LMS. The tool curates news articles and social media posts every few hours. This keeps the page content fresh and provides learning at the point of need that's customized to the different segment pages. These curated articles also formed the foundation of a social approach that involves articles being commented on and followed up with in-house podcasts.

Cat Marine app screenshot

Having a centralized LMS helped ensure a standardized level of learning is carried out across Cat Marine and their external dealers. Learning knowledge is tested using accompanying quizzes created using inbuilt Totara functionality and additional incentives were introduced via high score tables. Internet access can be limited for salespeople, so Kineo built an offline app to support the LMS for when they are offline.

The Results

Thanks to the use of focus groups, Cat Marine were able to gauge user sentiment before rollout and drum up excitement. This resulted in high uptake with sales quickly asking when they can have access. For the first time, salespeople have been taking an active interest in their learning and engaging with forum discussions, suggesting podcast topics and additional resources.   

The platform has helped to identify who, where and how much knowledge the global sales team have. Data shows all dealers are using the system, enabling the business to work with both internal and external dealers like never before. Once skills and knowledge are tested the LMS identifies areas salespeople can revisit and push notifications can be sent out via the app and LMS indicating when new learning content is available. 

Since January 2017, nearly 281 users out of the 400-strong sales team have accessed the system. As of April, there were 105 course completions, and 137 entries have been made on the forum and there have been over 50 podcast completions. 

A recent test of the platform during the Cat Marines Asia sales conference showed a 16% performance improvement across a range of technical and commercial topics.